San Feng

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San Feng's Empowered A counts as 5 Basic Attacks

Once empowered, San Feng’s A will count as 5 basic attacks instead of 1. This leads to some interesting interactions with Adagio’s B, Bonesaw and other things.
You can use San Feng’s Empowered A effect in multiple ways, by example, you can use it to apply 5 stacks of Bonesaw on your target.
Or you can instantly kill someone, by exploding on him the power of 5 stacks of Adagio’s B in just 1 Empowered San Feng’s A! And you can even use it to quickly remove 5 HP from a cam.
This saves you time, as you won’t need to do 5 basic attacks.
Note that San Feng’s Empowered A won’t do the damage of 5 basic attacks.
If you’re thinking to build full crit San Feng and throw 5 basics at a squishy carry with A… it’s not going to work. This because you will only get the damage of a single basic attack + A (base damage, CP if you have any).

You can see this mechanic in action in the video below:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=atKcPna0QyQ

Credits to Dozy Nap for discovering this!

San Feng Top Lane Utility

Credits

This guide was created by Oracle, T10 Silver, EU

This guide is meant for the 5V5 game mode.

General

Difficulty: Medium

Role: Bruiser, Frontliner

Strengths

High damage output
San Feng base damage is very high

Good survivability
Whenever San Feng uses a skill, all his HP are fortified, this makes him quite tanky.

Good teamfighs
Due to the utility and tankiness he provides, he is very good in team fights.
During a team fight it is also very easy to trigger the empowered effect of A.

Good early game
Due to his high base damage and innate tankiness, San Feng is very strong Early game.

Weaknesses

Requires good reflexes
To process the empowered effect, you need to active A right when you are receiving an attack.
You also need to be quite fast to perform the A - B combo.

Weak when caught alone

Easy to punish him when missing a skill

C is easy to block and susceptible to CC when casting it

Power Spikes

Level 8, max B

Level 11, max A

Utility - Pulseweave, Atlas Pauldron, War Treads, Celestial Shroud, Aftershock/Stormcrown, Rock's Decree
Skills: 1 B, 2 A, 3 B, 4 B, 5 A, 6 C, 7 B, 8 B, 9 A, 10 A, 11 A, 12 C

Start with Book Of Euologies and Light Armor (since you will be facing the enemy bot laner, which is WP) or Oakheart

The Pulseweave + Atlas Pauldron combo is useful against carrys with heavy damage in all the stages of the game to empower your trades
 

San Feng is countered by

Blackfeather, Glaive, Gwen, Ketrel, Lance, Rona
Generally heroes with high damage output and with mobility and anti CC skills.
 
Gwen
You need to bait her B out but if she is smart enough she will often keep it for your A. Since she can get out of the stun and gain a movement speed boost, she will be able to dodge your B. Try to use Divine fist to zone her as much as you can.
 
Joule Bot Lane
She is very tanky due to her perk, and deals massive damage with her short cooldown B skill. Even if you counter with A, she will win the trade right after. Usually Joule will go for a Serpent Mask build against a San Feng, which will provide her massive sustain.

You can deal damage to her only when she turns back, but even in this case she can escape with A. If she actives the skill, even if you stun her the animation will go through and you may not be able to hit her with your B.
 
Kensei

Kensei's barrier, bonus damage against enemies with higher maximum health (such as San Feng, since he will build items that give him health) and mobility make him a terrible match up for San Feng. If he uses his A and B you have an opportunity to trade: trigger your A when he uses his (on one of the 3 hits his A skill grants him), hold on the stun until he uses B to go back, then proceed to stun him and use your B very quickly to damage him. Beside this, there is nothing to do unless you receive help from your team. Just keep up with farm and do not feed him.
 
Kestrel
Kestrel is a very hard match up for San Feng because of her damage and stun when San Feng wants to trade with tiger bridge

In Kestrel's match up avoid use A, because you will usually get punished for it. Try to zone her and keep your farm up with divine fist until she wastes her B.
 

Weak against

Anyone with good kiting and mobility
Examples: Kinetic, Ringo, Skye, Taka

Caine
Due to his high basic attacks range, high burst from abilities (which have a short animation, so you need to be very fast to get a counter) Caine is a bad match up for San Feng. When he pokes with his C is your best opportunity to counter him.
Even if you stun him with your A, if he actives his B in time the animation will go through. However since the dash is short, you should still be able to hit him with B.

Kinetic
Try to land divine fist early levels and wait for her A to be landed into you or even zone minions because she needs to land A to get the stacks from the perk
This may cause you to take too much damage early game because the animation for her A is very fast.
The appropriate way is to wait for her dash B when she wants to empower her trade or to run away, so she shoots A on longer range, which gives you more time to cast Tiger's bridge and get the proc. Do not forget to take in count how long it has been since last time she used her A skill. She will need to use it again to maintain her stacks, making it predictable.

Silvernail Bot Lane
During the lane phase, Silvernail wires will stop San Feng from trading with A.
Late game Silvernail is countered by San Feng due to his CC immunity on A and B.

San Feng is a counter to

You can easily trigger San Feng's A empowered effect against heroes which have skills that cause damage overtime in an area, since he can easily walk right into the enemy skill and active his A. Some skills are: Lorelai's A, Samuel's B, Skaarf's B and C.
 
Baron
Baron is just based on when he wants to poke with his B. He will not use his A since that would be a great opportunity for you to gain the empowered effect on A.
Baron's auto attacks deal damage to surrounding enemies, providing yet another way to trigger the empowered effect of your A. Just stay close to the target Baron is attacking (a minion, hero, turret).
 
Leo

Due to Leo's Area Of Effect skills and normal attacks, trigger the empowered version of A is quite easy. He can easily be punished if he uses B since he wastes a mobility skill and also deals damage in an area (just walk to said area and hit A if he tries to jump on you with B).
He can also use his C to dodge through the first effect, or stun you on the 2nd effect (against the stun, you can use the effects of A and B overdrive, which will make you immune to negative status effects). If he uses the first effect of his C he will then be able to root you with B, so be careful.

Idris

Try to trigger the empowered effect on Awhen he uses Chakram, but trigger it when the Chakram goes back to him

Idris can avoid some damage from the trade because of the barrier that his A grants him, so make sure he used it to last hit or to avoid a Divine fist previously.

 

Silvernail post lane phase
During the lane phase, Silvernail wires will stop San Feng from trading with A.
Late game Silvernail is countered by San Feng due to his CC immunity on A and B.

San feng is good in teams that have AoE damage and high dps carry. It can be good for example with a Ringo or a Vox as bot laner.
Vox silence combined with San Feng's C is a high CC combo with massive damage
 
Common heroes played with san feng are adagio and lyra

This 3-C-combo is just ruthless
The teleport from Lyra is used to bring San Feng to the enemy team right as he is casting his C to stun them, ,then adagio goes into Lyra portal fast and chains his Ult to the San Feng one

You get massive damage and crowd control
Here a video of this combo: http://everlastingnight.net/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/Lyra-San-Feng-Adagios-C-combo.mov
A thanks to gumpyy (NA, T10 Gold) for the video!
San feng is maybe the most powerful toplaner in game. The combination of his high damage output and defence make him a really strong pick in toplane. He has 2 crowd control abilities which can be combined with a lot of heroes to do massive combos in teamfights. Level 1 start upgrading Divine fist first level and the first purchases you can choose between light armor and book or heart and book. Either armor or heart both purchases will grant you more defence early. One of the annoying match ups are against kinetic and ringo. Ringo because of his high dps in all the stages of the game, kinetic because of the dps and low cooldowns that on A ability to poke. San feng is a predictable hero so make sure to have a playstyle to not betray yourself intentions to the oponent. Divine fist is either a zoning tool or poke tool. Try to predict when the carry is going to auto you and cast fast Divine fist a seconds before to make sure you land a good punishment. Csing for a botlaner is really important so make sure the times he/she wants to get a captain and boss minion punish with Divine Fist so it is harder for him/her to get and it will a be a lost gold for him/her

Next levels will be focused on Tiger's bridge. Tiger's bridge is your direct crowd control ability. In lane try to make the oponent to trigger your Tiger's bridge into the stun to make a good trade against. Be careful because now stun duration is about 0,6 secs at level 1 so you must be fast on A+B combo if u want it to be worth. Tiger's bridge requires reflexes, you need to know which abilities you can get the proc easier. Obviously these are the AoE one. So make sure when someone in enemy team wants to cast an AoE ability in teamfight make sure you get the proc on Tiger's Bridge.

Level 6 is when your ult comes. My recomendation is to previously have Divine fist al level 3 despite of the nerfs it is still being a good ability to overdrive first. Master Lesson is huge knock up but it has a big con that is maybe the easiest ult to block

Therefore, you must use it on the right moment to get a massive knock up for your team and put the teamfight on your side. Be sure you baited before some cruicibles, at least in EU 3-tank comps are common so thet will be carrying 3 crucibles.

About overdriven abilities, san feng gets invulnerability when casting the A and B skills when they are overdriven

This means you avoid any negative effects so that gives much more potential to get your Tiger's Bridge proc
 

San feng is good in teams that have AoE damage and high dps carrys

It can be good for example with a Vox and a Ringo as adc

Vox silence combined with the Master lesson is a high crow control combo plus the massive damage
But common heroes played with san feng are adagio and lyra:

This 3-ult-combo is just ruthless
The teleport from lyra is used into san feng fast when he is casting Master Lesson so then adagio goes into the tp fast and chains his Ult with san feng one
 
 

So you get as well massive damage and crowd control

He is a strong team player but it is not unbeatable

Heroes that can avoid cc are a really good counter

He is weak when caught alone as well so it can be ambushed by assassins

Kensei, kestrel and gwen are the hardest match ups for him

Kestrel has an incredible advantage against him because of her bully damage and stun when san feng wants to trade with tiger bridge

Kestrel's match up what i do is not to use A there because im gonna get often punished so i try just to zone and keep my farm up with divine fist until i see she wastes her invisibility

Good san feng match ups are Baron one Vox and idris

He works really well against them.
On idris match up try to get proc from Tiger's bridge when he uses Chakram but trigger it when it goes back to him
Idris can avoid some damage from the trade because of the barrier that his A grants him so make sure he used it to last hit or to avoid a Divine fist previously
Baron one is just based on when he wants to poke u with a B because if he is smart enough he won't use any mortar
Vox one you must not understimate his dmg early because he can punish you well if you try to trade him. Make sure he used the A before to engage him with Tiger's bridge at the same time you get the proc. Double basic of vox's A has priority on heroes so you must be fast on your A
Gwen match up you need to be smart although it is a hard counter you can punish her mistakes really good
You need to bait her B out but if she is smart enough she will often keep it
So try to use Divine fist to zone her as much as you can
 
The Pulseweave + Atlas Pauldron combo is useful against carrys with heavy damage in all the stages of the game to empower your trades